Thursday, June 30, 2016

Nebuchadnezzar II and the Hanging Gardens

In Lesson 58 of The Mystery of History, Volume I, we learned about Nebuchadnezzar II and the Hanging Gardens, as well as the Ishtar Gate and the kingdom of Babylon during the seventh century B.C.
In The Usborne Encyclopedia of World History (our constant companion to our MOH text), we looked at these structures in pictures.
We love the colorful photos and pictures in this book!
We also read more about the Hanging Gardens in this National Geographic publication, Wonders of the Ancient World (pages 48-49),
After our reading, we watched this 6+ minute video which features the replica Ishtar Gate mentioned in our text and explains Nebuchadnezzar's powerful building campaign during that time.  It's quite interesting!
Finally, at the text's suggestion, we used colored pencils in blue, gold, and other colors, to color a picture of the Ishtar Gate.  We found one we liked at
 Great job, Mags!
This we added to our history notebook.  Next, we will focus on Daniel.  Check back!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016


Lesson 5 of Apologia's Zoology 1 (Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day) curriculum is all about nesting.  This was fun because we learned about all the different kinds of nests that birds make.  (Who knew there were so many?!)
One of the things that the text challenged us to do was to build our own cup nest.  A cup nest is the most common type of nest, the one you know is already shaped like a cup or bowl.  Here is Maggie, with her materials collected for her cup nest.
We got right to work making mud for the foundation.
Trust me, this is not an easy task!  I have a newfound respect for birds!
Once we put the main structure together, we added some soft things to the center for our hatchlings.
It looked pretty pitiful compared to a bird's work!
Though she had fun, we both agreed our cup nest was nowhere near as sturdy as it needed to be.  Kudos to the birds!
In her notebook, we matched the different nest pictures to the nest names and then wrote in an example of a bird who would make such a nest.
Love this curriculum!
One of our favorite activities was making a real estate advertisement for a bird, advertising a particular kind of nest.  Maggie loves woodpeckers, so she wanted to advertise for a cavity nest.  We used the real estate section of the newspaper to see how these such ads were written, then got to work on our own!  
LOVE this!  I especially loved her "For Sale!" sign on the tree limb!  I think this would sound posh to any woodpecker!
These are our little pop-up nest booklets for our notebook.  The outside of the booklets have the names of the types of nests.
The inside has a fun fact about that particular nest and a picture of such a nest.
So cute!
We then decided to see if we could get something to nest in this little spy birdhouse.  (I bought this ages ago on clearance.)  Many birds have already nested this year, but maybe we'll get a bite.
We attached it to one of our outside windows and will watch it to see if anyone shows interest.
"Roomy house for rent!"
It came with this cute little privacy screen for our side of the window.  So sweet!
We also thought it'd help to provide some nesting material nearby.  We used an empty suet container to hold the goods.
We had bits of yarn, hair from Maggie's brush ...
... moss ...
... straw ...
... and some dryer lint that I had been saving in a bag for just such a project.
We added bits of it all to the suet feeder.
Ready for nesters!
Then we attached the feeder to our deck rail with some zip ties to keep it from falling.
Come and get it, nesters!
We can't wait to see if we get any interest!
Happy birding!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Andy and the Lion

Our latest row was Andy and the Lion by James Daugherty.  In the words of Amazon: "In this retelling of Androcles and the Lion, Andy meets a lion on the way to school and wins his friendship for life by removing a thorn from his paw."  It is a quick read and the illustrations are fun.
The setting of the book is Andersonville, but the state wasn't specified.  We have an Andersonville in Georgia, so we decided to place our story disk for this book on Georgia on our US map.
This book was dedicated fondly to the iconic lion statues at the New York Public Library.  We read some about them at  Here is a picture of them from afar ...
... and up close!  They are over a hundred years old!
For a snack, we made the lion paw biscuits we saw at  They were easy with just a can of biscuits and some raisins for the claws.
We filled ours with butter and honey on the inside.  Our stomachs were growling like lions!
In the study of this book, we talked about Aesop's fables.  This book very much masks his "The Lion and the Mouse" fable so we read it at (which features a cute, interactive button) and also in our The Usborne Book of Aesop's Fables.  (We also read a few others out of here for fun.)
 There was a lot to discuss about the art in this book!  For one, we noticed the author's use of just two colors throughout, black, and this rusty gold color.
I challenged her to draw a lion in just the same two colors.
We also noticed all the curves and S-shapes in his drawings.  Maggie made her own curvy drawing of Andy and the lion.
She even drew an S-shape in his tail.
Later, we did some scissor practice together and cut out three paper hearts to make a lion face.  We got this cute idea from  She was so happy with the end product!
To learn more about these creatures, we read her January 2014 issues of Zoobooks, which was all about lions.  We love the great photographs and illustrations in this publication!  Every month features a different animal.
Then, using the printables at, we completed this animal classification activity for lions.  Great job, Mags!
For some fun, we put together the lion mask from this Wild Animals: Press Out and Build 3-D Masks activity book, which I bought ages ago at Books-a-Million.
She was quite proud!
 We also remembered this mask I have used for Bible Club at our church's Partner in Education.  I had bought it to teach a lesson on Daniel in the lions' den and Mags wanted to see which mask made her look fiercest.  Tough guess which.
We had a lot of fun learning more about lions!  Next up?  Lentil!